In May of 2002 our dog Jessie was in the back yard. She was barking like mad in the corner of our fence. I went out to see what she was barking at. There between our fence and the railroad fence was a tiny black and white kitten. I managed to coax her closer enough to grab her. She was so tiny she slippped right through the small opening in the chain link.
Jessie was thrilled with her find. We brought this kitten and the first thing my husband said is “we’re not keeping it!” We already had a dog and a cat, Pepper. It was Sunday and we had to wait until Monday to do anything. Jessie was in love with her surrogate “puppy.”
We offered her food but she was too young and needed kitten food. My husband went on a quest. I say that because he actually ended up going to four or five different grocery stores until he triumphantly found kitten food. We offered her the food and she ate until she was satisfied. After eating her fill she fell asleep on my husband’s chest. This tiny ball of fur purred her way into his heart and he looked at my daughters and me and said “I guess if you want we can keep her.”
That was the first day of almost 17 years with this sweet cat whom we named Muffin. Her life was happy with Jessie and Pepper. Sadly we lost Jessie on 1/19/09. MuffIn missed Jess but still had the company of Pepper. They weren’t close and never cuddled but they had each other.
In October of 2009 Pepper became ill. We sent him to heaven on 5/23/10. Muffin was all we had left. She would walk the halls at night wailing for Pepper. We ended up adopting another kitten, Maxx to ease the loneliness for Muffin.
In the next few years our family grew. In 2012 we adopted another kitten who was the last out of a litter of 5 that no one wanted, possibly because she literally has one white hair on her jet black body! We named her Willow but called her Booper. Then in August we got Shelby. Shelby was my older daughter’s cat. She moved back home and when she got married Shelby stayed. Our family kept growing. We have an outside cat, Sweetie. I found him eating bread at my bird feeder in September 2012. He is as much my cat as are the indoors ones. The only difference is Sweetie doesn’t want to be inside. He is feral and happy just to have a warm shelter, food and medical care when necessary. The only time I’ve ever been able to touch his is when he had had medical emergencies and was sedated to be treated. He suffers from stomatitis and needs treatment whenever it flares up. November of 2012 our neighbors were moving to Florida to a community where cats weren’t permitted. Charlie was ours. We were blessed with Charlie for 2 1/2 years. He started having seizures and was diagnosed with a mass behind his eye. From the start of the seizures until we lost him (on 3/17/15) was a short 3 months. Then on 12/1/18 we adopted our last kitten, Binx. She is a bundle of joy and energy. Our large family of cats was crazy st times. But the love was worth more than anything.
Muffin brought so much joy to our lives. She was without a doubt the sweetest cat God ever placed on the Earth.
Muffin had many healthy and happ years with us.
Several years ago Muffin was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and bowel disease. She was born with a heart murmur that was stable. She did well on medication and was active and content. When I would shower she would sit on the vanity and meow. I’d sing to her and when I’d abruptly stop and she’d finish my song. She was a very social cat.
A few weeks ago my daughter, a vet assistant, noticed her breathing was rapid. She brought her into work they ran some tests found fluid around her heart and she was diagnosed with heart failure. There were medications added to her current meds and some she was taking were stopped.
That was on 2/6/19. Over the following days her body was fighting to go on but she was dealing with too many issues. Everything was catching up. Muffin was never a big eater. She wouldn’t eat canned foods of any kind. When we’d give her a piece of chicken or turkey breast she’d eat a few bites the spend the next hour cleaning herself like she just ate an entire Thanksgiving dinner. She’d normally graze at the food bowl but enjoyed cat treats. He appetite diminished and she was eating less and less. We tried everything. But she just couldn’t do it. We took her yesterday and she was dehydrated, we tried with fluids but she couldn’t tolerate too much at once. There was still a spark in her eyes.
Sadly this morning she was ready to go to Heaven and be with Jessie and Pepper. We brought her in and stayed with her until she was gone.
My heart is broken and I am filled with anguish with the loss of my special friend. Muffin chose my daughter, Sam, as hers. My heart is broken for my Sam. Sam is beyond consolable. She treated Muffin like she was the only cat in the world! Our home is so empty without her! Booper is walking around looking for Muffin. She was just sitting in Muffin’s room staring at the empty spot where Muffin’s bed was. Over the past weeks Booper would sleep in close proximity to Muffin as if she was watching over her. Our other cats know something is amiss.
I know Muffin is free and already in the arms my father. But …oh how it hurts! I miss her so much! I know time will heal and my sorrow will be replaced with happy memories.
I just pray she knows how much I love her and look to the day when I can hold her I’m my arms again and hear her purring loudly, content and happy that we are together again.

Judey LaRocca